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1953 Chevrolet Vette Rod - Revolution Roadster

The Pugesek Motorsports Vette Rod '53

Chris Petris Dec 1, 2004
Corp_0412_01_z 1953_chevrolet_vette_rod Front_right_view 2/1

When we see a '53-'54 Corvette, Vette Rod or original, we always stop to take a look. The styling is cutting-edge, and most of these cars have been restored or reworked with extra care. Driveability is the only problem.

Vette Rods (or Resto Rods, depending on your preference) are the perfect blend of late technology and classic look. We recently assembled a '61 Vette Rod, and have more interest than ever in what's new. The best part is the creativity integrated into each car.

It takes many hours of research before the first wrench can be turned. Once a Vette Rod project starts, mental, physical, and financial commitment is required.

At the Bloomington Gold show, we were informed of a "'53" yellow Vette Rod in the Gold Market vendor area. The yellow '53, dubbed "Revolution Roadster" by Pugesek Motorsports, was spectacular. The PPG urethane Millennium Yellow paint was applied perfectly to the aftermarket '53 fiberglass body. The custom-engineered soft-top frame fit the original windshield frame with precision (Pugesek Motorsports has a billet windshield frame in the works for its future projects due to the limited availability of OE windshield frames). The Millennium Yellow paint and black cloth soft top make a stunning combination.

We convinced the owner to let us photograph his Corvette, and looked it over during the photo shoot.

Pugesek Motorsports is a family owned partnership. We spoke with Larry J. and Larry M., father and son, about their creation while Jerry Heasley did his magic with the camera. Their idea is to build custom concept cars with care and make them driveable. They are definitely on the right track.

Appearance is important, but we love to see what's under the hood and how it's put together. The integration of accessories and aftermarket enhancements was carefully planned on the Revolution Roadster. A '97 OBD II-controlled LT1 350ci crate engine with 350 hp propels it. The crate engine has induction enhancements, and a stainless exhaust system helps up the horsepower to 350.

The same OBD II computer is used to control the 4L60-E transmission for precise shifting. A factory aluminum radiator with OBD II-controlled dual electric fans handles the cooling. An auxiliary engine and transmission oil cooler are used to control temperatures if you push the '53 through some curves.

The Revolution Roadster has four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, so this car can be driven under any weather conditions. The brakes are GM power-assisted with slotted and cross-drilled 11-inch rotors at all corners.

The chassis was custom built from 2x3-inch mild steel with custom tubular front upper and lower control arms. Aldan Eagle adjustable coilover shocks were used to set ride height and damp the bumps. A mid-'90s straight-axle Posi-traction differential with 8.5-inch ring gear and 3.43:1 ratio transmits the LT1 power. An in-house custom four-link suspension keeps the differential in control, and a Panhard bar locates the differential. A power rack-and-pinion unit controls the steering. Custom Billet Specialties wheels with Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires provide the Vette Rod look.

The Roadster's black leather, hand-stitched interior was done with the same careful planning and execution. Factory GM digital gauges are housed in a hand-fabricated custom-designed dash. The heat, ventilation, and A/C are controlled by a factory GM '96 vintage controller that's custom-fit to the dash. A Kenwood single-disc, motorized-unit CD player, intermittent wipers, a keyless entry system, an alarm system, and four speakers are a few of the features. A GM factory tilt steering column was modified to fit the Budnik billet steering wheel.

The Revolution Roadster is fun to drive, makes an impressive statement, and looks great with the soft top up. It weighs 2,300 pounds and is fun-filled with 350 hp.

If there are more concept cars in the works, we can't wait to see them.


Pugesek Motorsports
Glendale Heights, IL

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